“See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils!”
We have to get to the end of the sentence to find out that the verb rendered “see” is an imperative one. If you read the story in Genesis, it would be easy to concentrate on Abraham and miss the significance of Melchizedek. So the Hebrews writer tells the admirers of Abraham to consider(!) Melchizedek. He is not, as it may seem, a secondary figure in that story.
Space will be given to show the greatness of the man who received Abraham’s payment. The readers of this letter, as all Jews, understood that the lesser pays the greater. That is how it has always been. How do we know who is the most powerful person in the story? Just follow the money.
This is a good place to remind ourselves that when we read the scriptures, we need to be careful not to take our prejudices with us but to maintain an open mind to the entire passage.
Task for Today: Take a new look at Melchizedek. This mysterious person is not a filler of space. Ask yourself, “Why is Melchizedek introduced in this story? What does it make you think about the preparations God was making for the Messiah? Can you make the connection from Melchizedek to Jesus? Does it help you understand the priesthood of Jesus? If not, perhaps a review of all the passages that mention that priesthood should be reviewed.